C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Chunk of Nadah, Karoran may miss NAC stamp
Rajmeet Singh and Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
For all those who think that the Nayagaon Notified Area Committee (NAC) is the next big thing happening in the city’s periphery, here is a reality check: While the entire Kansal village will form part of the proposed NAC, less than 30 per cent of the land of Nadah village and Karoran village will be included in the civic body.

Sources in the Department of Local Bodies also added that while the state government is right now not in a position to form an NAC, as suggested by the Punjab Chief Minister some days ago, an NAC, if it ever comes into being, will have to include substantial areas of the other two villages.

The state government will however be able to include in the NAC only 730 acres of Karoran and only 560 acres of Nadah. The total area of Karoran is 3,700 acres and Nadah 2,222 acres.

And this will be possible if and when the Government of India agrees to exempt the above areas from the provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 under which it is locked for the next 20 years. These areas form part of the over 1,62,000 acres (about 65,600 hectares) of the “kandi” tract of Punjab that is under cultivation and habitation and has been reportedly “wrongly” included in the list of forest areas.

The Punjab Government has asked the Centre to allow it to take out this tract from provisions of the Act. A steering committee of the Ministry of Forest and Environment Government of India has considered “positively” this case put forth by the Punjab Government, sources added.

Out of the entire 3,700 acres of Karoran, over 800 acres is locked under Section 4 of the Act, while the rest of the land, other than the area already under habitation, attracts the provisions of the Choe Act leaving no area outside the realm of the forest Acts.

According to the government’s proposal to the Centre, 730 acres of land in Karoran is under cultivation (another 300 acres is under habitation) and these should be exempted from the provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900.

Similarly, out of the 2,222 acres of Nadah around 500 acres is locked under the Section 4 of the Punjab land Act, while the rest, excluding the area under habitation, is covered by the Choe Act.

According to the government’s proposal for Nadah, 560 acres is under cultivation (another 40 acres is under habitation) and these should be exempted from the provisions of the Punjab land Act.

The government proposes to include land of Karoran (Choti and Baddi Karoran), Nadha and Kansal in the civic body under Section 4 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911.

A notification in this regard was issued by the Department of Local Bodies in September, 2005. However, the Department of Forests, Punjab, objected to the move on account of the fact that most of the area of the proposed NAC is “locked” under the provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 and the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

The objections sent by the District Forest Officer, Ropar, to the Department of Local Bodies states: “Despite the fact that this land is owned privately, no forest land can be diverted for non-forestry purpose without the prior approval of the Government of India.”

Quoting a judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the Forest Hill Resort case on October 12, 2004 stating that the land notified under the Punjab land Act attracts the provisions of the Indian Forest Conservation Act, 1980 amended in 1988, the DFO added that the department should take the requisite permission for the formation of the NAC from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.



UT in a fix over new dharna site 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Chandigarh Administration continues to be in a fix over deciding a new dharna site for agitating employees of different unions from Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory.

The site will be an alternative to the current location at the Matka Chowk on the Jan Marg as a dharna at this place causes traffic hurdles for commuters, at least during office hours.

The road has been blocked to general traffic for the past one week because of different dharnas and rallies. The traffic has to take diversions though inner roads of Sector 16 and the crowded roads of the market in Sector 17.

“The site perfectly serves our purpose to register our protest with the government by affecting the public conveniences,” an employee leader said.

The road affects travellers to the Punjab, Haryana and UT Secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and around six educational institutes, besides other important places.

The Administration has been pondering over the issue for the past couple of months. The idea of Rajendra Park near the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat was suggested and public opinion was sought. The site was recommended because it is located far away from the normal housing and the commercial areas. Moreover, as the new site is located right next to government offices, the authorities can be addressed directly.

Sources said the Punjab Government has sent its objections to the Administration with regard to the proposed site at Rajendra Park and the Administration has started exercise of looking for a new site.

A senior official said, “We have been communicated by the Punjab Government that the park was located at a very sensitive point from the security angle. The venue had helipad and was situated right adjacent to the residences of Punjab ministers.”

“The Administration is considering a site in Sector 34. A proposal in this regard has been drafted by the office of the Deputy Commissioner. A site of nearly six acres has been chosen as the new place for dharnas,” a senior official said.

The piece of land owned by the Administration has a parking lot of more than two acres under charge of the Municipal Corporation in the adjacent area.

The official said the venue was ideal for those holding rallies as “arrangements could be made for other facilities that were unavailable at Matka Chowk.

One of the sites that had come up for consideration earlier was the Parade Ground in Sector 17. The idea was dropped because a big crowd would be unmanageable inside a premises that had high boundaries. Moreover, it was located right next to the bus stand.

Another possible site in the belt of southern sectors had also come up for consideration. This was not acceptable to the employee unions because they would be far removed from the power centres of the government.

The official said, “The new site has been recommended keeping in mind convenience of the general public and also the protesters.” 



HC directive on speedy trials in lower courts
Magistrates told to monitor pending cases
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
In a move that could go a long way in mitigating the sufferings of litigants, particularly undertrails, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the lower courts to prepare a scheme for effective monitoring of pending cases.

The High Court also wants the lower courts to ensure speedier disposal of cases.

Acting swiftly, the District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh, Mr M.M.S. Bedi, has issued instructions to the magistrate and other judicial officers, directing them to ensure that all cases where the accused are in custody must be decided within six months from the date of filing of challan.

With a view to effectively monitoring pending criminal cases and their speedy disposal, Mr Bedi has also ordered the magistrates to decide at least six contested cases under the IPC every month.

The instructions also direct magistrates to not grant unnecessary adjournments in pending cases relating to the IPC and to take effective steps for disposal of the old criminal cases.

“In any event, under any circumstance, adjournment in such cases shall not be granted beyond two weeks,” it says.

The District and Sessions Judge has also directed that a list of the cases that are sub judice, while the accused are in custody for a period of more than six moths, be sent to him.

The list would contain, among other information, the date of arrest of the accused, date of presentation of challan, stage of the case and reason for delay in disposal of the case.

Mr Bedi has ordered that the list be sent to him every month.

In a major move, he has also directed that the courts will have to submit a certificate every month stating that no adjournment beyond two weeks has been granted on any date of hearing in the any cases mentioned in the list.

He has said that any violation of the instructions will be viewed seriously.

When contacted, Mr Bedi told Chandigarh Tribune that the instructions would go a long way in speedy disposal of cases.



Schools in residential areas to be closed down by April 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Schools running within the sector grid in residential areas would be closed down by April 30. However, for the 30 schools running in residential areas in Manimajra and in rehabilitation colonies, an extension up to April 30, 2007, has been allowed.

Following the decision, the Chandigarh Administration has taken steps to set up new school sites and create additional capacity in existing schools in order to implement the decision of the high court regarding the closure of schools running in residential areas.

The high-powered committee chaired by the Adviser to the Administrator has finalised a plan to achieve this objective and to ensure that no child would be affected by this move. The plan has been approved by the Administrator. Additional space in existing government schools has been reserved for such children. Additional enrollment capacity of 3,000 students in various schools will be created.

Two new government schools will be made operational in Sectors 38 (west) and 56 in this year. Additional 20 classrooms in existing schools will be added. The government schools have been asked to run double shifts as per the requirement in order to meet the additional load. Moreover, out of 36 new sites allotted, 32 have become functional or will be made operational by April 2006, creating room for 15,000 students.

Seven new sites in the sector grid have been carved out in the new sectors to meet the demand. 



6 more held for PU vandalism
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 3
The Chandigarh Police arrested six more youngsters, allegedly involved in hooliganism at the Panjab University campus on Wednesday, from various places late last night.
The sources in the police said those arrested have been identified as Amrinder Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Tejinder Singh of DAV College, Sector 10, Ranjit Singh and Tarsem Singh of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College and Honey Cheema.

They told the police that Damanjit Singh, alias JD, of Sector 8, Vikramjit Singh, alias Bakra, of Muktsar and Sartaj Preet Singh, alias Teji, were behind the incident that held the campus to ransom for about half-an-hour and in which several cars were damaged.

They were today produced before the local court which send them to a judicial remand till March 16.

The police said teams had been dispatched to suspected hideouts of the main suspects in Ludhiana and other places in Punjab.

The police had earlier arrested Bikram, a member of the group armed with sluggers, willows and sharp-edged weapons that smashed the cars on the campus.



Fire at Shivalikview; safety lapses bared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
A major tragedy was averted at Hotel Shivalikview when a fire broke out in the business arcade of the hotel this morning. The fire, which occurred around 10 am, apparently started from a short circuit in the old wiring of the false roofing.

The fire was brought under control within half an hour. No major loss was reported, however materials like stationery, computers, etc. were damaged as a result of the water used to extinguish the blaze.

The fire exposed the lack of firefighting equipment in the hotel and its preparedness to tackle a major fire.

The main fire exit was found closed, while the firefighting equipment was out of order. Mr Hemant Goswami, chief coordinator of Business Associates Association (CBAA), who was present on the spot said the fire alarm did not work and it was only after they saw the smoke filtering into the rooms that they raised the alarm.

“A colleague of mine, astrologer P. Khurana, and I noticed thick smoke and smell of burning wires and straight away raised the alarm. We switched off the main electricity supply.” He alleged that the water hydrant close to the fire did not work and the water hose had to be fetched from the other end of the hotel.

“Only one fire extinguisher in the whole building was found operational,” he rued.

Members of the CBAA further stated that during the past two years they had written to CITCO on numerous occasions raising the concern but to no avail.

An inspection of the spot was also carried out by Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Managing Director, CITCO. He confirmed that a few shortcomings had been observed in the firefighting preparedness and an inquiry had been marked into the matter. “The fire exit was found closed and we are investigating into the rest of matter. An inquiry has been marked to the CGM,” he told the TNS. It may be mentioned here that the fire exit was opened late in the evening only after the orders of the Director, CITCO. 



Novel programme for poor women

Chandigarh, March 3
With a view to making women from dis-advantaged sections, economically self-reliant, Mrs Jean Rodrigues, wife of Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, today launched a novel programme of fabric and glass painting, stitching, embroidery and other art and craft skills.

This programme will also cover the Vocational Training Centre Nari Niketan, Sector 26. This six-month course, being conducted by the Child Welfare and Women Development Corporation of Chandigarh Administration, has about 35 girls who are being trained by wives of Army officers--- Mrs Ranjeet Singh, Mrs Jyotan Pushpinder Singh, Mrs Binnie Bhandari and Mrs Preetika Gulati. The corporation will arrange the requisite material and infrastructure support for affording them opportunities required for the training and their subsequent placement in different fields.

Mrs Rodrigues, while interacting with the girls participating in this programme, impressed upon them the necessity to achieve proficiency in these self-employment courses. Later, she inaugurated a programme of plumbing for the youth in Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 25 to impart knowledge in this professional trade. In this six months course, about 30 young persons from the Kumhar colony, who could not continue their studies, have been enrolled. TNS



“Wrongfully” challaned for leaking pipe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Residents living along the lane of H No 102, Sector 36-A, are feeling harassed due to the alleged refusal of the municipal corporation to repair a leaking pipe for the past about a fortnight.

Repeated complaints of Col Bhagat Singh have failed to yield results. He alleged that he was being wrongfully challaned for the water on the road. “I pointed out that the water supply line was not on my premises and the official concerned, after assessing the cost of the repairs, asked me to pay the amount,” he said. Mr K.B. Sharma, Chief Engineer, said they would look into the matter.



CM assurance on water, sewerage rates
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 3
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today assured residents of Mohali that the hiked water and sewerage rates would soon be withdrawn.
The assurance was given to a huge gathering of persons who had gone to thank the Chief Minister under the leadership of Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Chief Minister, for giving Mohali district status.

The Chief Minister told the gathering that when they had met him earlier, along with Mrs Garcha, they had made two demands.

One of the demands of making Mohali a district had been fulfilled and the second demand of reducing water and sewerage rates in the town was also being considered.



Governor to inaugurate Virsa
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, Gen (retd) S.F.Rodrigues, will inaugurate premises of Virsa Systems and Net Solutions at the DLF complex at Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) on March 6. Virsa is the global leader in cross enterprise governance, risk and compliance solutions. The Governor will also be the chief guest at the ceremony.



CBI arrests SI, constable in corruption case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 3
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested a Sub Inspector (SI) of the Chandigarh Police and a constable in an alleged corruption case.
The constable was allegedly caught red-handed while accepting Rs 5000 as a bribe on behalf of the SI. The SI was given the Administrator's Commendation Certificate for meritorious services on Republic Day this year.

The sources in the CBI said the duo, SI Pyare Lal and constable Bahadur Singh Thakur, has been booked under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy under Sections 120-B of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Kushal Singh of Baltana village. It was alleged that the duo had demanded and accepted money for not reopening an "untraced case" registered against Kushal in 2001 in Sector 34 police station.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh Police said that taking a serious note of the incident senior officers has placed the SI and the constable under suspension. A departmental inquiry into the allegations has also been ordered.

The sources in the CBI said after investigating the matter a trap was laid in the Economic Offences Wing and in the Sector 11 police station. Sleuths caught the constable red-handed while accepting the money. The sources also added that Kushal Singh was booked by the local police for allegedly forging a passport. the case was closed later marked as "untraced".



SI, 2 cops held for forgery
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 3
The Chandigarh Police today arrested a Sub-Inspector (SI) and two Head Constables of Chandigarh Home Guards (CHG) on the charges of criminal conspiracy and forgery. The police said the accused were nabbed while they were getting identity cards of CHG published for civilian persons.

Sources in the Sector 17 police station said, SI Chander Mohan, Platoon Commander of CHG, Head Constables, Gauri Shankar and Sher Singh were today arrested after the Sector 17 Krishna Graphics reported the matter to the police. Gauri Shanker is posted as Section Leader while Sher Singh is a Platoon Commander in the CHG.

The sources said the accused approached Krishna Graphics for getting their identity cards published. Later, they asked the printers to publish identity cards for seven other persons also. When the printers verified the antecedents of the seven persons from headquarters of the CHG this scam came to light. 



Urchin held stealing purse from car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 3
An 8-year-old boy was caught red-handed while stealing a purse from a car by distracting the attention of its occupant.
His accomplice however fled from the spot. Following the information given by the minor boy, the police arrested his aunt and recovered the stolen property from her.

Sources in the Sector 36 police station said Ms Tara Paul of Sector 37 complained to the police that she was sitting in her car in Sector 35 market on Thursday when two minor boys allegedly distracted her attention by scratching the car window with a stone.

Annoyed at their behaviour, she stepped out of the car to shoo them away. Seizing the opportunity, one of the accused picked up her purse lying in the car and fled.

She managed to nab one of them and called the police. The purse contained Rs 1,200, a gold chain, a mobile phone and $ 60 besides some documents.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 36 police station said during questioning the accused told the police that his cousin had taken away the purse.

On the basis of information provided by him, the police arrested his aunt Sumitra of Madrasi Colony from the railway station. The police recovered the purse from her possession.

The minor boy was sent to juvenile home last evening, while Sumitra was today produced before a local court, which remanded her in one-day police custody, the police said.

Couple receives burns: A woman suffered burn injuries after she caught fire from a stove at her residence this morning. Her husband also got injured in a bid to save her.

Giving details, sources in the police said 22-year-old Mamta caught fire from an electric heater while making tea around 7 am.

Hearing her cries, her husband, 28-year-old Parveen, rushed to her aid and in the process sustained burn injuries. The police was informed about the incident around 7.45 am. The two were then shifted to the PGI, where their condition was stated to be stable.

The woman suffered over 15 per cent burns, while her husband received over 35 per cent burns.

Vehicles stolen: Mr Gurvaran Singh of Sector 41 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Maruti car (CH-01-W-5809) was stolen from his residence on Wednesday night.

Similarly, Mr Satnam Singh of Sector 27-D reported to the police that his Maruti car (CH-03-1068) was stolen from Panjab and Haryana High Court parking lot on Thursday.

In another incident, Mr Krishan Kaushik of New Bishan Nagar, Patiala, filed a complaint with the police alleging that his Hero Honda motor cycle (PB-11-AB-8396) was stolen from Sector 17 parking lot on Thursday. Three cases of theft have been registered in various police stations.



Milk bar at Verka plant being developed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 3
The milk bar at the Verka milk plant here is being developed at a cost of Rs 21 lakh to attract more visitors by providing them an atmosphere which is not only serene but would also give them a glimpse into the rich culture of the state.

A stretch of about 2.5 acre is being added to the milk bar which will be developed to provide a better look to the area and also better facilities to persons visiting the milk bar. There is a proposal to develop a children’s park in the extended area. There are plans to have pathways, flower beds, a baby train, benches, music system, swings and fountains. Saplings of ornamental trees would also be planted to give a scenic beauty to the area.

Mr Balwinder Singh, general manager, said the aim was to make the visitors aware of the Punjabi culture. There were also old Punjabi songs which were played at the music system installed at the bar. Books would also be stocked in the area.

He said that the milk bar at present had swings and statues only. This part was developed about a year ago and festival of “Tiyan” was also celebrated in a traditional way at the milk bar. A water fountain with coloured lights was also operated in the evening.

Officials at the milk plant said that the sale of Verka items had doubled after the area around the milk bar was developed. They expected even better results once the extended portion was also developed aesthetically.

They said that Verka authorities did not insist that visitors should only be supplied with milk products at the bar. Arrangements were also made to make available cold drinking water and coffee. Recently paneer pakoras were also made available at the bar though gajrela and gulab jamun being served earlier also.



PHDCCI hails enhanced allocations

Chandigarh, March 3
The PHDCCI organised an interactive programme on Budget 2006 ‘Analysis -issues and implications on trade and industry. The programme was chaired by Mr Rajender Parsad, Commissioner, Central Excise and taxation, Chandigarh.

Mr Ashok Khanna, past President, PHDCCI, said that the Union Budget for 2006-07 sought to lay the foundation for the country to achieve 10 per cent growth in next two to three years.

The industry perspective was presented by Mr Balbir Singh, tax consultant, covering the major changes made in the direct and indirect taxes by the Union Budget 2006. TNS


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |